All the people who had ever lived were assembled before God’s throne.  They were sullen, complaining and murmured “who does God think he is, anyway?” One of the groups was composed of Jews who had suffered in gas chambers and concentration camps: how could God know their suffering?  Another group was slaves, people branded who had suffered indignities at the hands of cruel men.  What could God know about their plight?  There were long lines of refugees – people driven from their homes, sick, suffering, each with a complaint against God.  What could he know of what human beings were forced to endure?

From each group a leader was chosen, and a commission appointed to draw up the case against the Almighty.  Instead of God judging them, they began judging God.  And the verdict was that God should be sentenced to live on earth as a human being with no safeguards to protect his divinity.  Let him be born a Jew, and born poor.  Let even the legitimacy of his birth be suspect.  Give him hard work to do and poverty that he might know the pinch.  Let him be rejected by his people; let him be betrayed by one of his friends.  Let him be arrested on false charges, tried before a prejudiced jury and convicted by a cowardly judge.  Let him be abandoned by his friends and see what it is to be terribly alone.  Let him be tortured, and then let him die at the hands of his enemies.

As each group announced its sentence on God, roars of approval went up.  When the last had finished, the raucous noise had become almost deafening.  Everyone turned towards the throne.  Suddenly, heaven was filled with shocked penitent silence.  For where there had been a throne, now could be seen a cross.

God does indeed know, and by the death and resurrection of Jesus, brings salvation, restoration and the unbridled joy of heaven to all who believe.  That’s the message of Easter.